Ning Yan

Distinguished Professor in Forest Biomaterials Engineering

B.Eng, (Southeast), Ph.D. (Toronto), P.Eng.

Principal Investigator, Yan Lab
Room: ES3037| Tel.: 416-946-8070 | Email:



Distinguished Professorship in Forest Biomaterials Engineering, University of Toronto, 2017
Endowed Value Added Wood and Composite Chair, University of Toronto, 2014
NSERC-Discovery Accelerator Supplementary Award (DAS), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Canada, 2012
Connaught Innovation Award, University of Toronto, 2011
Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, 2007

Research Interests

Biobased Chemicals and Products from Renewable Biomass

With increased global concern over environmental issues, there is a strong interest in developing sustainable technologies to derive fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstock. Renewable biomass materials are particularly attractive since they contain large amounts of renewable carbon and a variety of biochemicals with potential applications in a wide range of industries. They are well suited for producing biochemicals and materials replacing fossil fuel derived products for a more sustainable society. Our current research covers: extraction, deconstruction, conversion of biomass to chemical precursors and intermediates; synthesis and development of novel bio-based polymers, adhesives, resins, and polyols; design and production of lightweight biobased composites and foams; utilization of cellulose, lignin, extractives, starch, and biocarbon for industrial applications, etc.

Smart and Functional Materials

We are developing smart and functional materials, such as super hydrophobic coatings, nanocomposites with superior strength and toughness, electrically conductive CNT, graphene, and conductive polymer nanocomposites as sensors and electronic devices for detecting a wide range of analytes for food and industrial applications.

Selected Recent Publications

Sandeep S Nair, Heyu Chen, Yao Peng, Yanhui Huang, Ning Yan, “Polylactic acid biocomposites reinforced with nanocellulose fibrils with high lignin content for improved mechanical, thermal and barrier properties”, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 6, 22, 2018.

Yao Peng, Sandeep S Nair, Heyu Chen, Ning Yan, Jinzhen Cao, “Effects of lignin content on mechanical and thermal properties of polypropylene composites reinforced with micro particles of spray dried cellulose nanofibrils”, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 6, 8, 2018.

Liu Liu, Sha Luo, Yan Qing, Ning Yan, Yiqian Wu, Xinfeng Xie, Feiyu Hu, “A Temperature‐Controlled, Conductive PANI@CNFs/MEO2MA/PEGMA Hydrogel for Flexible Temperature Sensors”, Macromolecular Rapid Communications 39 (10), 2018 (Front Cover).

Xixin Duan, Zhician Bai, Xueting Shao, Jian Xu, Ning Yan, Junyou Shi, Xaohong Wang, “Fabrication of Metal-Substituted Polyoxometalates for Colorimetric Detection of Dopamine and Ractopamine”, Materials, 11, 5, 2018.

Heyu Chen, Ning Yan, “Application of Western Red Cedar (Thijta Pilcata) Tree Bark as a Functional Filler in pMDI Wood Adhesives”, Industrial Crops and Products, 113, 1-9, 2018.

Nicolas R Tanguy, Michael Thompson, Ning Yan, “ A Review on Advances in Application of Polyanilline for Ammonia Detection”, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 257, 1044-1064, 2018.

Aref Abbasi Moud, Mohammad Arjmand, Ning Yan, Amir Sanati Nezhad, Seyed Hossein Hejazi, “Colloidal Behavior of Cellulose Nanocrystals in Presence of Sodium Chloride”, ChemistrySelect, 3, 4969-4978, 2018.

Hossein Salehizadeh, Ning Yan, Ramin Farnood, “Recent Advances in Polysacchride Bio-based Flocculants”, Biotechnology Advances, 10, 7, 2017.

Yiqiang Wu, Shanshan Jia, Shuang Wang, Yan Qing, Ning Yan, Qihang Wang, Taotao Meng, “A Facile and Novel Emulsion for Efficent and Convenient Fabrication of Durable Superbydrophobic Materials”, Chemical Engineering Journal, 328, 186-196, 2017.

Brandon Vollick, Pei-Yu Kuo, Moien Alizadehgiashi, Ning Yan, Eugenia Kumacheva, “From Structure to Properties of Composite Films Derived from Celllulose Nanocrystals”, ACS Omega, 2(9) (2), 5928-5934, 2017.

Jason D’Souza, Rafael Camargo, Ning Yan, “Biomass liquefaction and alkoxylation: A review of structural characterization methods for bio-based polyols”, Polymer Reviews, 57 (4), 2017

Brandon Vollick, Pei-Yu Kuo, Héloïse Thérien-Aubin, Ning Yan, Eugenia Kumacheva, “Composite Cholesteric Nanocellulose Films with Enhanced Mechanical Properties”, Chemistry of Materials, 29 (2), 789–795, 2017

Peiyu Kuo, Luizmar de Assis Barros, Ning Yan, Mohini Sain, Yan Qing, Yiqiang Wu, “Nanocellulose Composites with Enhanced Interfacial Compatibility and Mechanical Properties Using a Hybrid-toughened Epoxy Matrix”, Carbohydrate Polymers, 177, 249-257, 2017.

Prashant Chauhan, Ning Yan, “Novel Nitroaniline-cellulose Nanohybrids: Nitro Radical Photo-release and its Antibacterial Action”, Carbohydrate Polymers, 174, 1106-1113, 2017.

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